William M. Adams's research while affiliated with University of Cambridge and other places

Publications (36)

Book
Nature almost everywhere survives on human terms. The distinction between what is natural and what is human-made, which has informed conservation for centuries, has become blurred. When scientists can reshape genes more or less at will, what does it mean to conserve nature? The tools of synthetic biology are changing the way we answer that question...
Article
Full-text available
Article impact statement: Synthetic biology is being used to edit genomes of wild species for agriculture and human health. Conservation science must get involved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Article
Full-text available
The lack of progress in reversing the declining global trend in biodiversity is partly due to a mismatch between how living nature is conceived and valued by the conservation movement on the one hand, and by many different people, including marginalized communities, on the other. Addressing this problem calls for a pluralistic perspective on biodiv...
Article
Full-text available
Wildlife conservation and research benefits enormously from automated and interconnected monitoring tools. Some of these tools, such as drones, remote cameras, and social media, can collect data on humans, either accidentally or deliberately. They can therefore be thought of as conservation surveillance technologies (CSTs). There is increasing evid...
Article
Full-text available
Dam planning and construction is notoriously difficult. It is highly complex, involving a multitude of social, environmental, economic and technological questions that often become politicised in the process; negative impacts are often concentrated on small, vulnerable groups within society, while the benefits are typically spread in a much more di...
Article
Full-text available
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic extend to global biodiversity and its conservation. Although short-term beneficial or adverse impacts on biodiversity have been widely discussed, there is less attention to the likely political and economic responses to the crisis and their implications for conservation. Here we describe four possible alternativ...
Article
Through a combination of scientific and community activity, our environment is increasingly registered and documented as data. Given the expanding breadth of this digital domain, it is crucial that scholars consider the problems it presents as well as its affirmative potential. This article, arising from collaboration between a practitioner and the...
Preprint
Full-text available
What has gone wrong with nature conservation and how do we bring about transformative change to create a more sustainable future? Which types of knowledge, ethics, principles and actions are needed to reverse the decline of biodiversity? And given the urgency to act, how can we harness them to sustain a just and diverse future for life on Earth? T...
Chapter
In a 1974 paper, a group of ornithologists of the British Trust for Ornithology and a meteorologist, linked the decline in the British breeding population of a migrant bird to drought in the Sahel in West Africa. The paper was published amid hot academic debate about the possibility of ‘desertification’ caused by bio-geophysical feedback from human...
Article
Despite the widespread use of spectral metaphors, the spectral quality of debates about extinction is little remarked by researchers in conservation science. In this article, we ask the following question: does a sense of the spectral create the conditions for hopeful thoughts and actions about biodiversity? Does becoming ‘haunted’ by species loss...
Article
The World Commission on Dams (WCD) was a global environmental governance forum that worked between 1998 and 2000 to try to resolve long‐standing controversies between supporters and opponents of large dams. Its objectives were to assess the development effectiveness of large dams and to develop best practice guidelines for large dam construction an...
Article
Full-text available
There is a rich literature by geographers on the spatial imagination and ambition of conservation, and particularly the long-established strategy of creating protected areas such as national parks. This report highlights five ways in which the spatial ambitions, imaginations and practices of conservation are changing. First, appetite for the expans...
Article
As the concept of ecosystem services is applied more widely in conservation, its users will encounter the issue of poverty alleviation. Policy initiatives involving ecosystem services are often marked by their use of ‘win-win’ narratives which conceal the trade-offs they must entail. Modelling this paper on an earlier essay about conservation and p...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the agency of African elephants as important actors in the political ecology of human–elephant conflict, and in shaping the politics of land in post‐colonial Kenya. The paper is based on field research in Laikipia, northern Kenya. It considers the role of elephants, with their size, sagacity, hunger, mobility and complex interac...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the agency of African elephants as important actors in the political ecology of human-elephant conflict, and in shaping the politics of land in post-colonial Kenya. The paper is based on field research in Laikipia, northern Kenya. It considers the role of elephants, with their size, sagacity, hunger, mobility and complex interac...
Article
Full-text available
The wide range of wildlife tracking and surveillance technologies (radio and satellite tracking, cameras, and audio) that are being deployed in conservation have important implications for a geographical understanding of care for non-human nature. This report explores four dimensions of their influence. First, their detailed view of spatial dimensi...
Chapter
Historically, the dominant model of conservation is one of the impositions of nature protection from above, by aristocratic landowners, by state agencies and increasingly by non-governmental organisations. While conservationists often talk about ‘community conservation’, top-down approaches still dominate. This chapter identifies five dimensions of...
Article
Full-text available
The connected nature of social-ecological systems has never been more apparent than in today’s globalized world. The ecosystem service framework and associated ecosystem assessments aim to better inform the science–policy response to sustainability challenges. Such assessments, however, often overlook distant, diffuse and delayed impacts that are c...
Article
In this paper, by drawing on primary empirical data obtained through 62 interviews in seven case studies we seek to offer a Marxist historical-geographical analysis of biodiversity offsetting policy in England, and its emergence in the context of the global economic crisis, and government aspirations for large-scale urban development projects. By p...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the surprising closeness and apparent warmth of the relations between biodiversity conservation organisations and corporations. It argues that in this paradoxical engagement, conservationists are exhibiting an extreme form of pragmatism - a willingness to 'sleep with the enemy.' The article considers the implications of these...
Research
Full-text available
There has been a growing interest across the British conservation community in recent years in establishing conservation over large areas. Much of this thinking was crystallised in the Making Space for Nature report (Lawton and others 2010) , and has since become prominent in conservation policy. To maximise the success of future projects, there is...
Article
Full-text available
We question whether the increasingly popular, radical idea of turning half the Earth into a network of protected areas is either feasible or just. We argue that this Half-Earth plan would have widespread negative consequences for human populations and would not meet its conservation objectives. It offers no agenda for managing biodiversity within a...
Article
We are grateful to ten Kate & von Hase (2016) and Dempsey & Collard (2016) for their insightful and constructive responses to our article on biodiversity offsetting (Apostolopoulou & Adams, 2015a). They agree with us that conservationists need to think very carefully about offsetting and its implications for nature conservation. They differ substan...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on a survey of large-scale ecological restoration initiatives, we find that managers face contradictory demands. On the one hand, they have to raise funds from a variety of sources through competitive procedures for individual projects. These projects require the specification of deliverable outputs within a relatively short project period....
Article
The Great Game: conservation in East Africa 1950–2016 - Volume 50 Issue 4 - William M. Adams
Article
Full-text available
There is an increasing emphasis on the restoration of ecosystem services as well as of biodiversity, especially where restoration projects are planned at a landscape scale. This increase in the diversity of restoration aims has a number of conceptual and practical implications for the way that restoration projects are monitored and evaluated. Lands...
Article
Full-text available
It is increasingly recognized that ecological restoration demands conservation action beyond the borders of existing protected areas. This requires the coordination of land uses and management over a larger area, usually with a range of partners, which presents novel institutional challenges for conservation planners. Interviews were undertaken wit...
Article
Full-text available
There is an increasing emphasis on the restoration of ecosystem services as well as of biodiversity, especially where restoration projects are planned at a landscape-scale. This increase in the diversity of restoration aims has a number of conceptual and practical implications for the way that restoration projects are monitored and evaluated. Lands...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we examine the on-the-ground realities of upstream-downstream negotiations and transactions over ecosystem services. We explore the engagement, negotiation, implementation, and postimplementation phases of a “reciprocal water access” (RWA) agreement between village communities and municipal water users at Palampur, Himachal Pradesh,...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation is a fundamentally spatial pursuit. Human-elephant conflict (HEC), in particular crop-raiding, is a significant and complex conservation problem wherever elephants and people occupy the same space. Conservationists and wildlife managers build electrified fences as a technical solution to this problem. Fences provide a spatial means of...
Article
Full-text available
Digital technology is changing nature conservation in increasingly profound ways. We describe this impact and its significance through the concept of ‘digital conservation’, which we found to comprise five pivotal dimensions: data on nature, data on people, data integration and analysis, communication and experience, and participatory governance. E...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity offsetting involves the balancing of biodiversity loss in one place (and at one time) by an equivalent biodiversity gain elsewhere (an outcome referred to as No Net Loss). The conservation science literature has chiefly addressed the extent to which biodiversity offsets can serve as a conservation tool, focusing on the technical challe...

Citations

... The metaphoric monster's shiny multi-colored fearsome embodiment and awakening geophysical agency is caused by improperly regulated environmental management that has allowed Synthetic Biology to go awry [2]. This sad state of environmental degradation is observed to adversely impact the channel, seabed, and tidal seawater separating a famed university situated on the Ilha do Fundão from the nearby mainland. ...
... It is being presented as enabling transformative advances across the biotechnology sector, including in food and agriculture [1,2], drug and vaccine discovery and production [3,4], material a1111111111 a1111111111 a1111111111 a1111111111 a1111111111 sciences [5,6], and data storage [7]. Roles for synthetic biology are also being advanced for environmental challenges including climate change [8] and biodiversity conservation [9]. ...
... In recent years the international policy arena has shown deeper recognition of the relationship between the environment and human well-being (hereafter HWB). The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) endeavour is documenting the diversity of relationships, including those noninstrumental relationships, between people and the natural world (Chan et al., 2016;Pascual et al., 2017Pascual et al., , 2021, the planetary health community underscores the interlinkage between environmental and human health (Whitmee et al., 2015) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals emphasise the interdependent nature of development and environmental integrity . Indeed, the earlier formulation of the ecosystem services (ES) concept identified a typology of services on which humanity and HWB depend (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005). ...
... For example, catch data that would work as a complement to provide a more holistic picture of any targeted SSF. Finally, we invite practitioners aiming to implement VTS programs to be informed and aware of ethical boundaries and socially responsible use of conservation monitoring technology and data (Sandbrook et al., 2021). ...
... For example, different effects have been reported on terrestrial and marine environments (Manenti et al. 2020;Corlett et al. 2020;Rutz et al. 2020), wildlife (Silva-Rodríguez et al. 2020;Gilby et al. 2021), alien and invasive species (Nuñez et al. 2020), cultural diversity (Cupertino et al. 2020;Meneses-Navarro et al. 2020), as well as biodiversity-related activities such as tourism (Bakar and Rosbi 2020), agriculture and rural economy (Rawal et al. 2020), forest fires (Amador-Jiménez et al. 2020), and pollution (Dutheil et al. 2020;Patrício Silva et al. 2021). Although it is still too early to make categorical statements about the consequences, the scientific knowledge gained during the pandemic will allow us to observe the unsustainable aspects of the pre-Covid-19 economic model, to facilitate the rebuilding and transformation of the political and economic structures that lead to biodiversity loss (Sandbrook et al. 2020). ...
... Questions about these implications are well interwoven with the national and international context the reservoirs are situated in. Theory and best practice in this manner were being established in studies focusing on governmental and social implications [19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27]. Mathematical modelling, to provide optimal decision making support in water management resources [28,29], was also being studied with stochastic approaches [30]. ...
... Although these platforms operate in a virtual space, content that is showcased or promoted is often linked to real-world places and activities, allowing for the interaction between direct and mediated nature experiences (Arts et al., 2021). With lockdown restrictions in place, new media technology offered alternative modes of encountering nature (Turnbull et al., 2020). In this study, we focus on the social media platform Twitter, a platform where people can share short texts (up to 280 characters), as well as visual media such as photos or short videos. ...
... is means that migration dates and breeding chronology were selected early and/or lately in order to avoid the harsh conditions, counting temperatures, and rainfall of such habitat [11]. In fact, many Anatidae and Palearctic migrant species have coincided their migration dates with suitable spring climate conditions and food availability during summer in breeding quarters, in order to maximize their breeding success [12]. Since climate change, mainly high temperatures can result in missed foraging opportunities, loss of body condition, and impaired parental care [13]. ...
... Spectres offer a fruitful way of thinking through the contemporary extinction crisis, whereby the ghost acts as an agential metaphor for reckoning with biotic loss (McCorristine & Adams, 2020), in addition to emerging as the analytical focus of research. What might it mean to meddle with the discrete certainties of extinction, by bringing something back? ...
... Correcting this injustice was a central recommendation of the World Commission on Dams (WCD, 2000) and one of the main arguments given by some of the countries most committed to hydropower for not accepting the recommendations (such as China, Brazil, and India) (Schulz and Adams, 2019). People most directly affected by hydropower often have limited opportunities to have their concerns addressed or otherwise heard in the planning and implementation of hydropower and the mitigation of its impacts (Ty et al., 2013;Morvaridi, 2004). ...